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Network Concepts enters market for echo miniPACS

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Network Concepts enters market for echo miniPACSNetwork Concepts of Middleton, WI, has released a real-time digital echocardiography image management system called Univision that allows users to interface ultrasound scanners from different

Network Concepts enters market for echo miniPACS

Network Concepts of Middleton, WI, has released a real-time digital echocardiography image management system called Univision that allows users to interface ultrasound scanners from different vendors and access patient studies from any point on a network.

Network Concepts has manufactured neurodiagnostic and image management devices for neurology applications, including digital EEG and digital video products for routine EEG, epilepsy monitoring, and sleep analysis. Univision, which received Food and Drug Administration 510(k) clearance in February, represents the company's entry into the cardiology market.

Univision consists of three primary building blocks: an image acquisition unit for each ultrasound scanner, a cardiology workstation, and an archive subsystem. NCI sells both the hardware and software for Univision.

Univision debuted at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology in Anaheim in March. The network runs on a mixed operating system environment, with Intel-powered PCs using either a Windows NT or Unix operating system, and employs CD-R as its archiving media. The system's basic jukebox holds 150 CDs, or about 4500 minutes worth of imaging, and NCI offers a variety of jukebox options depending upon the size of the echocardiography lab.

Univision stores up to 30 minutes of image record time per patient exam and features distributed storage architecture, with each of the image acquisition units holding the images it acquires. This allows for more flexibility in doing portable image acquisitions and also contains any storage subsystem failures to that particular machine, said Larry Sieb, division manager.

NCI supported the DISC 97 standard at the ACC meeting and is currently working on a DICOM reader, which should be available by the end of 1997, Sieb said.

NCI is selling Univision through its direct sales force, although the company is interested in signing on OEM clients, Sieb said. The company also supports Univision through its own service force.

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